I don’t need rehab. I need a miracle.
I’m 23. I’ve spent most of my teenage years in rehab. I spent 8 months in jail last year. Most of my friends are dead. They’re fucking dead. Or missing and no one has fucking heard from them in months.
What you don’t get is how uncoordinated and destroyed my brain is. An amputee can try to move their leg. A drug addict cant try to be sober. An insurmountable physics holds us back though.
I’m in my prime. The room is spinning. I swear to God — not having a needle in your harm is an outlandish way to live. One day, I will be normal. I’m trying, I swear. I’ve been sober for five days.
I have plans to go to the park with my only sober friend and some other people in recovery. I’m getting anxious. I’m lying on the couch, anxiously. The feeling is taking over my whole mind like the darkness canvases the sky at dusk. Push this feeling down. Push it away. I’m sober. I’m entirely sober. I’m dry.
The urge is too much for me. Like, you know when you gotta pee and you just gotta pee? Well I had to pee. Now, the automation of the addict takes over. I call my friend, “I have a few errands to run, so I’ll be running late.” I’m on a train to my dealer’s place. The entire train is a dream.(Dreaming) about the rush of warmth in my veins, how it will feel once the dilaudids enter my blood stream. I’m practically cumming from the thought alone. Take me away to that place. It’s been so long. Oh, God… It’s always the best doing it after it’s been so long.
I get off at my stop. I’m running to the sketchy store that sells junkies over-priced needles. Damnit! It’s Saturday and the pharmacy isn’t open until Monday. I meet up with my long lost “friend.” I was hoping for 3, but I’m still in debt from the last time. “Seriously, really? Like it matters to you! How do you even remember that? It was six months ago?” I want to say.
I go to the Dunkin Dounuts and snort them. I hardly feel a thing. A bit itchy, fuzzy. Back with my sober friends: Lies.
Last night a forty-year-old man tried to kiss me after buying me a snickers bar. This is what my life has come to. I didn’t return his kiss, but the thought crossed my mind because maybe then I could have asked to “borrow” thirty dollars, so I could buy a new ID. Mine’s been missing for months now. I left it at a CVS while buying needles a while back.
This is a cancer. I can’t sleep, I just wail in these dirty sheets, shifting restlessly, sweating and cursing and clenching veins. Help the amputee grow back his leg. Heal me from this crushing void, put this fire in mind out. Move mountains, God.
It started with a right swipe, a little green heart. Tinder of course.
Though I acknowledge and appreciate the differences in human experiences, and while your heartbreak is (and always will be) uniquely and completely your own, I must urge you to consider that I have been where you are.
By Devon Oyler
With his hat cocked back, body tilted away from his cane, and right forefinger pointing directly at his audience, Joseph Ducreux commands the attention of those viewing his self-portrait.
I was born in 1990; he was born in 1973. I’m 23; he just turned 40.